Written by Brooklyn Walters
I took a leap of faith, and I haven’t regretted it for a moment.
July 23, 2022, just before my junior year of college, I married the man I started dating as a junior in high school, and it was the best decision I’ve made as a college student. Yes, it’s counter-cultural, but I haven’t once regretted taking this path.
Growing up in a culture that glamorizes breakups through music and rom-coms makes being married at 20 years old a rarity. Though it’s rare, my mission is to encourage it to as many people as I can. It’s beyond worth being “weird” in the eyes of the culture in order to have a bond this strong and a life this good.
Being one of few married student couples here at UK has been interesting, but we both love it. We were fortunate to have all the pieces fall into place, so we could get married while we were in college instead of postponing it until after graduation.
My husband, Hunter, is a student at UK for engineering, while I’m here for journalism. We couldn’t be more different in the way our minds work, but it’s wonderful because where I fall short, he shines, and vice versa. Being around him is my favorite; he can make my worst days good, and I don’t just say that to flatter him.
Both being in college, between class and extracurriculars, we don’t always have a lot of one-on-one time every week, but we like to be intentional about what time we do have. I believe that is one of the reasons we’re only falling even more in love as time goes on.
We talk it out when one of us feels hurt. We check in to make sure the other is doing okay. We listen when the other is talking, and we offer help when the other needs it. We try to communicate our expectations and talk about when we feel let down. We are open books to each other, and above all, we value each other before we value ourselves.
We share friends and participate in some of the same extracurriculars, so although our lives are hectic, we still find ways to merge our days and commitments often.
I’ve heard that the first year of marriage is the most difficult, and there have been difficult things about it, but the hardships never outweigh the goodness that comes from having this covenant with Hunter. We’re over halfway through year one, and it’s been my favorite six months of knowing him this far.
There is a couple who we look up to who are now approaching 50 years of marriage; they got married when they were about our age. They told us that they practically raised each other, and that resonated with me. Hunter and I are learning how to make it on our own as adults, but we have each other to lean on through that process, and that’s valuable.
The unique and possibly most beautiful thing about getting married as young as we did is the opportunity to grow together.
He’s teaching me and I’m teaching him. We’re slowly merging our whole lives and our dreams, and our love for one another makes compromising to do so much easier.
Whether it be budgeting or learning to cook together, we take joy in getting to do the mundane things with each other. If I start to take our marriage for granted, I look back to when I was a high schooler who was head-over-heels for him and wanted nothing more than to get to share a life with him. Now I have that, and it’s too precious not to be grateful for.
I am fortunate to have such a strong, godly husband who desires the best for me and will do anything to make that happen.
Culture told me repeatedly that if I got married at this age, I’d regret it. I’d be giving up my independence, my dreams, my friends and basically my whole life for a man, and that wasn’t worth it or acceptable. It told me that I should strive for “bigger and better things” because men weren’t worth it.
Luckily, I had generations of family who were married young and told me the goodness of it. I wouldn’t want to miss this. If I had listened to culture, I would have been giving up one of the best parts of my life.
Photo Credentials to Kaleigh Poole | Entirely Our Own Photography